All day long, you make decisions – some large, some small. Each one of them reflects the things that you feel are important, your values. What is the basis for this or that decision? It’s something that may not be immediately apparent as you go about your day, dealing with events, people, circumstances.
In fact, you may not even think about this at all. Many people base their ideas and decisions on what they have been told is important or what they feel they ‘should’ be taking as their priorities.
For example, most people feel that they would like to have more of something than they currently have. Specifically, it’s a common feeling that there is not quite enough money in the bank or coming in for the week. What makes this so?
For many people, money is the symbol of happiness. We are constantly being flooded with images that portray having more of everything as being desirable. But is it, really?
Why do people want to have more money, more cars, more ‘busy’ things to do? It is because they believe that this will make them happy. People want things because of the way they think that they will make them feel.
If you unplug from that version of life, you can notice other things. For example, it was Socrates who pointed out that “Contentment is the wealth of Nature,” and therefore true wealth consists of feelings of contentment.
What is the price of knowing that you did your best in a situation, that you didn’t turn your back on someone who needed your help?
What if it were true that having less distractions gives you more time to feel truly alive? What if that made it more possible for you to experience true happiness, which is without external cause?
Real happiness cannot be bought or even created. It is always there, waiting to be noticed, even in the smallest details of your life.
What you do in each moment is a small portrait of who you are on the deepest level. Every moment is a chance to embrace the sacredness of your life and of the world. Every person you meet has a hidden message for you.
Embracing the ability to notice these things, as your priority, to be your mission, will free you from the burdens of ‘not enough,’ and of ‘too much,’ which are the twins of discontent. You will then be truly in the moment and ready to understand yourself and life in a different way.
How can you take that little step back from appearances and go a little deeper into what your life truly is, and truly means? What would it be like to let your own feelings and desires take priority, instead of always letting others define what you are doing, and where you put your attention?
Appearances can be deceiving.
We all want to be useful and of service to others. However, without taking the time to dive deeply into our own deepest knowing, we have less wisdom and more busyness to offer, less true openhearted life to live.
When you truly take time to love yourself, to understand what is important to you – and to honor it – you will be in contact with your own riches, which can never be reduced in any way.
How do your decisions reflect your values and priorities? What is the key priority in your life in your 60s? Please share your own ponderings in the comments below.